Breckenridge ski collision case drawing international attention |

Breckenridge ski collision case drawing international attention

BRECKENRIDGE – The Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s office will announce Thursday whether it intends to file charges against a man involved in a fatal collision at Breckenridge Ski Resort.

Tuesday, District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said investigators are still reviewing the facts of an accident that led to the death of Richard Henrichs, 56, of Naperville, Ill. Henrichs was pronounced dead Monday in Denver.

Robert Wills, 31, of Plymouth, England, remained in the Summit County Jail Tuesday afternoon on a $20,000 bond. Wills might face charges of first-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Details of the accident are still under investigation. Initial reports said Wills hit Henrichs at a trail intersection on Peak 9, and Henrichs subsequently ran into a tree.

The case is drawing national attention. Ten newspapers from London contacted the Summit Daily News seeking information and photographs. Reporters also besieged officials’ offices and phones.

“I did an interview over the phone for BBC radio,” Hurlbert said. “That was a first.”

The last ski fatality case to draw such attention was that of Nathan Hall. An Eagle County jury convicted Hall in November 2000 in the 1997 death of Alan Cobb, a 33-year-old skier who died of head injuries after Hall collided with him. Witnesses said Hall, then a Vail ski-lift operator, was skiing too fast. Hall was sentenced to 90 days in jail, three years of probation and ordered to pay $18,000 to Cobb’s family. He appealed his conviction because he said the jury should have been able to consider the lesser charge of reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor. Hall served his sentence and withdrew his appeal.

In 1989, a Texas man pleaded no contest to negligent homicide related to a collision with a child at Winter Park. Howard Hidle, 31 at the time of the accident, served 30 days in jail and four years of probation.

Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237, or

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